Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad

He’s so much more than just parts of their DNA makeup.

Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad

Before my husband and I were actually parents, we figured we would be relatively good at the whole “mom and dad" thing one day. To be honest, we didn't put too much thought into it before it happened.

So when it did happen, we were pleasantly surprised that our assumption was pretty accurate—we were relatively good at this gig. Dare I say, on some days, we can actually be kind of great.

Becoming parents together has changed the way I see my husband. He's still handsome. He's still smart. He's still generous. But now? Now, three beautiful little ladies call him 'Daddy'—and that just does something to my heart. It never gets old hearing them yell, DAAAAAD!' or how they want to call him while he's at work, just to say hi. I don't even get upset when they request him over me—because it's actually really cute.


The love these girls have for this man is unparalleled to any other.

They adore him. The sun rises and sets with him. And if I'd have to guess why, it would be for a few reasons.

His parents raised him to be a good man. Someone who wants to take care of the people around him. Someone who loves deeply and whose loyalty is fierce.

His attitude toward raising girls is exactly what I hoped it would be. He loves his girls—he's not “waiting for his boy." He's teaching them to be kind, strong, compassionate, curious, brave. That they're beautiful—inside and out. That they can do anything, be anything—sky's the limit.

His way of playing is much better than mine. I know that and I'm okay with that. (They think I'm funnier, so there!) He throws them high in the air, flips them around, starts snowball fights, teaches them how to dribble, does tumblesaults with them—basically, they have a ball together.

His way of showing his love to their mother. He's affectionate and complimentary. He is kind and thoughtful. He inspires me every day and encourages me to follow my dreams. He is truly a great example of modeling how someone should love another.

His joy is contagious. He is goofy, silly, funny and adventurous. He's up-for-anything, which works really well in parenthood—because goodness knows we have to be prepared for the twists and turns of this life, don't we?

My 4-year-old has recently become pretty interested in when “Mommy was a bride and she married Daddy." She loves looking at pictures of our wedding and asking questions and saying things like, “I am doing to marry Dad one day, too!"

And while she can't because he's already spoken for and well, because that's just not how things work—I hope she does end up with someone like him.

Because he is kind and considerate.

Because he is gentle and loving.

Because he is a dreamer.

Because he works really, really hard.

Because he is supportive and encouraging.

Because he believes in me sometimes even more than I believe in myself.

Because he makes me feel like I can do anything, be anything.

Because he makes me feel at ease, at home.

Because his love will be with me through it all. The joyous days of parenting when we're watching our newborn smile for the first time or the hard days of parenting when we slept for two hours the whole night and can hardly keep it together.

Because his love is steady and real.

Because he's not perfect—none of us are. But he tries—over and over. Harder and harder. He really listens, to the good stuff and the bad stuff, and he takes that and he tries again.

Because at the end of the day, he just wants to make his girls feel loved.

Sure, his DNA runs through their blood—he is their father. You can see it in their identical (and adorable if I may add) crooked smiles and feel it in the quirks they share like their zest for life...and their zest for...sweets. ?

But—he's so much more than just parts of their DNA makeup. His passion for fatherhood has awarded him the title of 'Dad' and I'm so proud of this man he's become.

I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.

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It’s science: Vacations make your kids happy long after they’re over

Whether you're planning a quick trip to the lake or flying the fam to a resort, the results are the same: A happier, more connected family.

Whether you're looking for hotels or a rental home for a safe family getaway, or just punching in your credit card number to reserve a spot in a campground a couple of states over, the cost of vacation plans can make a mom wince. And while price is definitely something to consider when planning a family vacation, science suggests we should consider these trips—and their benefits—priceless.

Research indicates that family vacations are essential. They make our, kids (and us) happier and build bonds and memories.

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Becoming a mother has been life-changing. It's been hard, tiring, gratifying, beautiful, challenging, scary and a thousand other things that only a parent would ever understand.

It is these life-changing experiences that have inspired me to draw my everyday life as a stay at home mom. Whether it's the mundane tasks like doing laundry or the exciting moments of James', my baby boy's, first steps, I want to put it down on paper so that I can better cherish these fleeting moments that are often overlooked.

Being a stay-at-home-mom can be incredibly lonely. I like to think that by drawing life's simple moments, I can connect with other mothers and help them feel less alone. By doing this, I feel less alone, too. It's a win-win situation and I have been able to connect with many lovely parents and fellow parent-illustrators through my Instagram account.

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